Cadillac Racing earned its second trophy of the 2023 season at Laguna Seca on May 14th, 2023, thanks to a daring joint effort between Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais that put the No. 01 V-Series.R in Victory Lane.
Bourdais brought the No. 01 Cadillac Racing machine to third after the first round of pit stops in the two-hour 40-minute race. When van der Zande took over, he fell to seventh following a caution period, but set his sights on the leaders and began to track them down. With just over an hour left on the clock, van der Zande led the field in the No. 01 V-Series.R, followed by the other Cadillac Racing entry, the No. 31 V-Series.R driven by Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims, in second.
In fact, the No. 31 V-Series.R, under the control of Sims, took the lead with 40 minutes left, as van der Zande threw the No. 01 V-Series.R after him. He eventually executed the pass, demoting Sims and the No. 31 V-Series.R to second, and then third as the No. 6 Porsche of Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet nosed between the two Cadillac Racing prototypes.
However, the No. 6 Porsche could not track down the No. 01 V-Series.R on the way to the finish, with a margin of victory of 3.8 seconds separating the two race cars at the line.
“With the two months we’ve had lately, this feels really good,” Bourdais said after the race. “I’m really, really happy for the boys. You can see it. Emotions run high, and it’s not because of a race win. We had to dig ourselves out of a big hole. It’s really good for the whole group and for Cadillac. Renger did awesome as always. I couldn’t be happier for everyone involved here.”
Van der Zande said, “Thanks to Seb for the nice words. We are a good team and are fantastic teammates with everyone. Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac with all the effort they are putting in, it’s days and nights of work. They aren’t sleeping much. So it’s amazing to pay it off with a win like this. Like Seb said, we cycled a few times to the front and the back. I love this place. Laguna Seca is one of the best racetracks.”